Vick's View


Recently, my mother’s clan had a family reunion. Getting to see everyone was fun, but I dreaded hearing the same question asked over and over by rarely seen family members: “What have you been doing since you retired?”

Once upon a time, I had dreams….big dreams. I planned to retire and travel with my husband. I planned to visit every state, a few tropical locations, and maybe several wonders of the world. In between traveling across the world, I dreamed of taking pottery classes, painting landscapes, and cooking elaborate dishes. I wanted to play golf and take up pickleball. I pictured myself bicycling around the beach and lounging near the shore under an umbrella or cruising the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately, none of those visions have come to fruition, so when asked that question, “What have you been doing since you retired”, my answer was quite different from what I dreamed.

What have I been doing? Working in the yard, going to church, visiting grandkids, and most of all, going to doctors.

And I couldn’t help it. When they asked me what doctors, I had to rattle off the list.

For my husband, there’s the local general practitioner, chiropractor, urologist, endocrinologist, neurologist, lung doctor, cataract surgeon, diabetic eye doctor, allergist, orthopod, diabetes eye doctor, neuropathy specialist, cardiologist, and quarterly blood work along with yearly vaccinations.

For me, there is the local general practitioner, chiropractor, radiologist, orthopod, neurologist, and hematologist, and routine vaccinations.

Yes, all we do is visit doctors and pharmacies.

Our typical Sunday evening goes like this: first, we synchronize calendars on our phones.

“Honey,” my husband starts off. “I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.”

“Which doctor?” I ask.

“Eye doctor,” he says.

“Now, which one is that and where is that again?” I ask.

“Here in town; I get a shot in my eye,” he says. Bummer. That’s right in the middle of nap time and it means I have to make lunch and dinner.

He continues. “I also have one Thursday at 10:45 a.m. at the allergist in Charleston.” Awesome! That means we can eat out at lunchtime, get a nice meal, and I won’t have to cook supper. We can eat a sandwich.

Then it’s my turn. I list my appointments, and we add it to our calendars.

Wow. I am really living the dream. And I can’t even say, “Well, at least I have my health.” Both of us are literally falling apart.

My parents warned me it would be this way, and they weren’t kidding.

It’s amazing just how busy a retired person gets when cramming all those doctors’ visits into a month. But one good thing I can say about all of this is that neither one of us is bored….ever. And if any doctor wants advice on how to make a waiting room more inviting, just ask.

I have plenty of suggestions.